One Year Later film screening pics

It's been two weeks since the event and yes, I'm still on cloud 9 from the One Year Later film screening.  My photographer Tenneal McNair took so many amazing pics that I'll just share here.  I didn't want to flood your Instagram timelines.  Please scroll to get an idea of how incredible this evening was.

XO,

Mel

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The best host ever! My homie Dayo - @thearthype

 
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The love was sooo real.

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Director Joshua E. Peters dropping some knowledge - with a smile.

 
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My biggest supporters - my best friends Jessica and Malek Naz 

 
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One Year Later video DC screening recap!

The One Year Later video screening was held at Beyond Studios here in Washington, DC and the evening was magical!!  I just want to say Thank You to everyone who not only came to support but also those who just purchased a ticket in support of the film.  A portion of the proceeds were donated the Habitat For Humanity Hurricane Relief Fund and it warmed my heart to be able to pass along your contributions to help out all of the victims in the affected areas including my motherland, Puerto Rico.  

HUGE thanks to my videographer Pierre Edwards of Districtdodger.com for capturing all of these beautiful moments so perfectly.

I hope you enjoy!

XO,

Mel

Habitat for humanity-rock yo rizos

Facial at HelaSpa

Since I cut my hair, I felt the need to pay extra attention to my skin care regimen.  My cleansing routine is pretty simple. I use a gentle cleanser, exfoliate ever so often,  and apply a hydrating lotion both day and night, but I knew I needed to step it up a notch since I started noticing some pimples were starting to surface. So, I scheduled an appointment with the DC's award-winning HelaSpa for a cleansing facial.

Bonnie was my esthetician and before she began my treatment, she explained some of the benefits of getting facials.

1.  Circulation:  Facials help restore circulation to the layers of your skin by increasing the flow of blood to your skin cells.  With small massaging movements, the flow of blood rushes throughout the skin giving your skin a healthy and youthful glow.

2.  Anti-Aging:  We can’t stop the aging process but we can delay it.  Facials can help slow down the aging process by removing dead and damaged skin by using products/treatments that increase collagen and cell growth which will offer you once again, a glowing youthful look.

3.  Cleansing:  A normal at home cleansing routine doesn’t always get to the root of your skin issues. Facials offer a deep cleaning of the skin by helping reduce an overabundance of sebum , which is an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands.  An excess of sebum, dead skin cells and dirt trapped inside yourpores can lead to acne and blackheads.

NOTE: You may not notice a vast difference in the Before and After pictures except for a little redness from the extractions, but my skin felt ahhhmazing!  It was incredibly soft and I had a JLo glow for days.  *Insert lady in red dress dancing emoji*

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Products used:

SkinCeuticals: Gentle Cleanser, Micro-Exfoliating Scrub and Phyto Corrective Gel

Skin Medica: Calming Mask

Young Pharmaceuticals: Moisturizer Riche

What I loved is that Bonnie customized the products and included chamomile oil and used rose water as a toner -who knew!

With the lovely esthetician Bonnie Brenkman

With the lovely esthetician Bonnie Brenkman

For more info or to book an appointment, click HERE! 

Empowered by you!

I am empowered by being imperfect.

I LOVE how cute and comfortable these seamless undies are by @empoweredbyyou and am so proud to be an ambassador for this brand!  They are the perfect everyday panty.  Honored to be a part of such an incredible campaign that helps #empower women out of poverty.  20% of net profits will go to the Seven Bar Foundation to empower women out of poverty and into business via microfinance.

Check out more on:

Facebook: @Empoweredbyyou

Twitter:  @Empoweredbyyou #Empoweredbyyou

Instagram: @Empoweredbyyou

 

Photo: Malek Naz Freidouni

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The Golden Hour

I just love that time, right before sunset, when everything just seems to glow.  Those few minutes when the sun is low in the sky and creates such a beautiful warm light.  

Soooo perfect for pics (no filters needed.)

 

Photos: Emma McAlary

Jacket: Gap

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban  (thanks Emma for letting me borrow them!)

Top:  All Saints

Jeans: Rag & Bone

Boots:  Steve Madden

Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC

Spring is truly my favorite time of the year.  Everyone starts to come out of hibernation, you can shed layers of clothing, and for me, it's the all about the beautiful flowers that start to bloom. Which is why I totally look forward to the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival every year.  It also reminds me of being in Japan where I lived for my last tour in the United States Navy.

Just a little bit of history, the famous trees were donated to Washington DC from Japan in 1912 in efforts to enhance the friendship between the two countries and to also celebrate the continued close relationship. 

Besides all of the fun events which include concerts, parades and even fireworks,  proper planning is definitely important in order to catch them at their peak bloom.  This year the festival runs from March 20th - April 17th.  You can find out more info here.

It is without a doubt worth experiencing!

xo,

Mel

 

Photos by: Malek Naz Freidouni

Ready for Spring

Hey guys!

I know, I know.  I have been slacking on my posts (my bad).  I have been extremely busy and I am just trying to balance it all but I'm BACK!  I don't know about you guys but I am super excited for spring time to come.  You know, like when the weather is warm enough to just rock a simple tee and a pair of distressed jeans.  It's my favorite outfit to wear any day.

What is your "go-to" outfit?

Photos: Emma McAlary

T-shirt: Gap

Jeans:  Levi's 

The reason why I shaved my head.

HERE IT IS ! 

Special thanks to:

Filmmaker Sam Song of Spare Tire Productions for bringing my vision to light.  You are truly the best!

Photographer MalekNaz Freidouni of Maleknaz.com for taking such beautiful photos and being such an awesome friend.

Hairstylist Gianne Nascimento for buzzing my hair to perfection and being part of such a profound moment with me.

Designer Virginia Arrisueño of DeNada for allowing me to use your beautiful studio.  I am forever grateful.

And to ALL of you that constantly support and follow me along this journey - THANK YOU!!!

I hope you enjoy!

Xo,

Mel

Carol's Daughter #BornandMade Campaign

I'm going to be honest, I thought once I shaved my head it was going to be over.  I mean my brand means "Rock Yo Curls."  

I prepared myself for the negative comments and how I was going to respond.  I was afraid that I was going to confuse my audience because I was expressing the importance of loving your hair and I did the opposite.  I was worried that all the relationships in the hair care industry I worked so hard to develop were going to start to diminish since I no longer had my rizos to market products.  I anticipated not being invited to the hottest events and the list could go on but I must say I was wrong and all of that really didn't matter.  Once I was true to myself I was able to be honest with you all and I feel like that's what is important.   As you guys know by now, I am not my hair but it was a hard lesson that I needed to learn and I felt the need to share. Why? Because it's not always about how you look on the outside, it's how you feel on the inside. 

Given these points, not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be asked to be part of such a beautiful campaign that totally represents what I stand for (this was on my dream board though)  

I'm a huge fan of Carol's Daughter products but also of their #bornandmade campaign because it inspires women from all over to know their self worth and celebrate who they are.  Thank you to the entire Carol's Daughter team for this amazing opportunity and being able to share it with nine other courageous women.  And thank you ALL for continuing to #rock with me!

Xo,

Mel

#iamlettingGO DC EVENT

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After a successful (and sold out) event in NYC, there was NO WAY I wasn't going to have a screening here in DC!

So for some of you that are new to my blog, I created the “#IamlettingGO” campaign after a realization that so many people were going through life transitions. 

For the first week of the campaign, I shared on social media outlets what I was "letting GO" and encouraged my followers to do the same with the hashtag “#iamlettingGO.” More than 500 people have shared to date. 

Please join me as I will be unveiling the real reason why I cut my signature shoulder length curls in a heartfelt video at this event.  

** Screening will be followed by a Q&A session and attendees will be encouraged to share their transitions/beautiful struggles.  Be prepared for special guests and some surprises at Eighteenth Street Lounge.

Purchase your tickets HERE !

Can't wait to meet you all.

XO,

Mel

#iamlettingGO NYC Video Screening Recap

I am reallllly excited to share these pictures with you from my #iamlettingGO video screening sponsored by Crème of Nature and Dark and Lovely at Pulse Karaoke Lounge located in the heart of NYC!!!!  

Ok so to bring you up to speed, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, I started a campaign called #iamlettingGO after the realization that so many people were going through life transitions.  It was a platform for people to share their beautiful struggles and anything they were letting go of in order to move forward with any aspirations they've given up on.  

Within a month, over 500 participated, shared and encouraged each other not to give up.  I was shocked at the response! So I felt it was only right to share my personal story (which I did through video) about my transition which included shaving off my signature shoulder length curls. But more than anything I wanted to meet everyone in person !

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The first 25 guests were gifted with full sized products from Crème of Nature’s Straight from Eden which is their new Natural Oil-Infused hair care line powered by coconut, avocado and olive oils all of which are essential for healthy hair.

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We also handed out tags to everyone and asked them to share something they were “letting go” of.  Keep scrolling and you’ll see why……

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My friend Monica Stevens of  Moknowshair.com

My friend Monica Stevens of Moknowshair.com

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The crowd and the energy was just magnificent!

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Celebrity hairstylist Mr. Johnny Wright

Celebrity hairstylist Mr. Johnny Wright

Everyone asked great questions!

Throughout the night, we gathered each guest’s tag that participated and attached them to balloons...

To let them all go into the beautiful New York City sky.

My friend Stephanie totally surprised me with her shirt.  How awesome!!

The curly haired blogger crew totally represented in full effect.

The LUCKY winner of the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Basket!

KARAOKE TIME!!!! 

Some of you have asked where the video can be viewed.  Stay tuned for upcoming screenings at a city near you!

Xo,

Mel

 

All photos by Pete Monsanto of FlyLifeImages

Creme Of Nature Announces Breast Cancer Awareness Month Campaign Including Continued Partnership With Look Good Feel Better

How AHHHMAZING is this?!?!!! 

Creme of Nature® is partnering with Look Good Feel Better for an informative Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign through the end of October. Look Good Feel Better is a free non-medical, national program dedicated to improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing cancer treatment. The campaign includes a limited-edition Creme of Nature with Argan Oil from Morocco Pink Perfect Edges; Breast Cancer Awareness walks in St. Louis, New York City, Jacksonville, Chicago and Atlanta; and "Wear Pink Fridays" social media campaign, encouraging fans and consumers to pledge to wear pink on a Friday for the month of October and post a photo using the hashtag #CourageousBeauty.

Creme of Nature's Argan Oil from Morocco Pink Perfect Edges — a hair gel infused with Argan Oil that helps to control and hold down edges, without flaking, while moisturizing and adding Exotic Shine to the hair — will be available for purchase in October with a portion of its proceeds benefiting Look Good Feel Better.

The brand's observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be highlighted with participation in five walks throughout the US, where Creme of Nature staff will walk with Breast Cancer Awareness supporters and donate supplies.

• October 3, St. Louis – The Breakfast Club Inc.'s Sista Strut Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

• October 18, New York City –American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

• October 24, Chicago, IL – American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

• October 24, Atlanta, GA – American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

• October 24, Jacksonville, FL – American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness

To participate in a walk, please sign up here:  

http://cremeofnature.com/nature/courageous_beauty.html

As part of Creme of Nature’s continued support, the brand will match up to $2500 raised by each Creme of Nature team of staff, beauty enthusiasts and consumers in each city. Fans and consumers can sign up to walk with the Creme of Nature their city at 

http://cremeofnature.com/nature/courageous_beauty.html

Stay tuned to Creme of Nature's:

Twitter: @cremeofnature

Facebook:  facebook.com/cremeofnature

Instagram: instagram.com/cremeofnature for more information on signing up.

My Entry: #iamlettingGO - The New Look!

#iamlettingGO of all of the pressures that I put on myself for other people.

#IamlettingGO of my insecurities that people have found to be so beautiful.

#iamlettingGO of the negative energy I have surrounded myself around.

#iamlettingGO of what I thought was love.

#iamlettingGO and learning to live my life of happiness.

#iamlettingGO and loving the skin I live in.

#iamlettingGO and starting from SCRATCH.

Thank You's:

To my dearest and super talented friend Maleknaz for capturing such a beautiful moment and always being there, right on time.

Gianne - for bringing my vision of this buzzcut to reality.  I couldn't think of a better person to share this moment with.

Virginia of DeNada for allowing me to have this moment in your beautiful space and giving me the chance to share your beautiful energy.  I am forever grateful.

XO,

Mel

P.S. There's more coming and I will answer ALL of your questions so STAY TUNED!!!

Curly to Straight- Natural Hair Blow-Out with Tracee Ellis Ross!!

I have been keeping a secret.  Trust me, I really couldn't wait to share this very special project with you guys.   Amla Legend's Artistic Director & celebrity stylist Johnny Wright transformed my naturally curly hair into the ultimate silky blow-out with the one and only TV celebrity, style icon and my new curlfriend Tracee Ellis Ross! *Yes, I was starstruck and I couldn't properly function for the first 10 minutes after she arrived*

It has been at least over a year since I have straightened my hair and I couldn't have been happier to have it done by the best.  I  have to be honest though, I was a little nervous when I saw the flat iron because I had just went blonde and I did not want to risk the integrity of my hair since I love rockin' my rizos.  Thankfully, my curls reverted back without any damage.  The Amla Legend Heat Defense System which includes the 10 in 1 Silky Blow-OutElixir, the Silky Blow-Out Masque, the Silkening Oil Mist are definitely "must have's" in creating a smooth and straight look because they all aid in maintaining your hair hydrated and moisturized while using heat.

I want to send a HUGE thank you to the SoftSheen Carson family for giving me this wonderful opportunity- I am forever grateful!

Ok, enough of me yapping - Check out the full video below!

Enjoy!

XO,

Mel

Here are some behind the scene pics courtesy of my buddy Pete Monsanto of FlyLifeImages.com .  

P.S. The laughter was ALL real.

SuperCream By DevaCurl

SuperCream is finally available to purchase!!! This a new product that has been launched by DevaCurl and it's been a couple of years since their last product hit the market, so I knew it was special.

A few weeks ago, I attended the DevaCurl SuperCream Product Testing Event where a group of fellow bloggers and vloggers sampled the product before its official launch and boy, it was a blast! There was a  delicious spread of food and drinks (a priority for someone who is always hungry) and we were given our own hair stations with a sample of the product and hair tools to create whatever style we wanted.  I decided to apply SuperCream to my hair dry- specifically my dry ends on the right side and compared it with my left side (sorry, I don't have before & after pics).  I have noticed since I colored my hair from blonde back to brown, my hair really lacks moisture and shine.  The texture of my hair after I used the product was so soft, had noticeable shine, and it also smelled delicious.  It would normally take me two or three products combined to achieve what I did with a little bit of SuperCream.  It will definitely be a staple in my wash and go routine!  

Check out some of the great moments captured that day.  

You're in luck! DevaCurl is going to be giving away tons of SuperCream to consumers. 

You can win a bottle of Super Cream from DevaCurl! To enter, head to @mydevacurl, give them a follow on Instagram, and repost the SuperCream image on your account. Be sure you leave a comment about why you love being #supercurly! They will be choosing people with the random number generator all week, and giving away, full size Super Cream prizes.

Good luck!

Xo,

Mel